Incinerator Art Award 2021, installation view.
Incinerator Art Award 2021, installation view.
Incinerator Art Award 2021, installation view.
Incinerator Art Award 2021, installation view.
Incinerator Art Award 2021, installation view.
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Incinerator Art Award: Art for Social Change

The Incinerator Art Award is our annual contemporary art prize inspired by the theme of art for social change.

Entries for the Incinerator Art Award 2022 are now closed.

To stay up to date with further information regarding the award, and future opportunities to exhibit at Incinerator Gallery, please subscribe to our e-newsletter below.

The Incinerator Art Award is our annual art award and exhibition. Established in 2015, the award celebrates contemporary arts practices that are socially engaged, environmentally aware, and seek to enrich community through dynamic, creative practice.

The award pays homage to Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony—the progressive architects who collaboratively designed the Essendon Incinerator in 1929-30—who believed that art and architecture are ethical enterprises that should aim to bring about positive social change.

This nationally recognised award demonstrates the crucial role art plays for contemporary Australian audiences, underpinning Incinerator Gallery as a vital space for engaged discourse through visual art and creative practice.

The award is an inclusive and diverse exhibition that celebrates the vibrancy of community within and beyond Moonee Valley.

In 2022, the Gallery continues to present critical, ambitious and experimental practices, and will offer an engaged and educative program encompassing visual art, film, performance, writing, architecture and design.

Entries open: Sunday 1 May 

Entries close: Tuesday 31 May, 11:59pm

Shortlisted artist notified: Thursday 30 June

Delivery of works to Incinerator Gallery: Monday 29 August – Sunday 4 September

Opening night and award ceremony: Friday 16 September, 6-8pm

Exhibition dates: Friday 16 September – Sunday 30 October

People's Choice Award winner announced: Friday 4 November

In 2022, we will be offering a total of $12,000 in cash prizes to artists:

  • 4 x key (sponsor named) Awards of $2,500 each, will be awarded to 4 shortlisted artists as judged by our panel of art industry professionals.
  • 1 x Mayoral Award of $1,000 judged by the Mayor of Moonee Valley and Councillors
  • 1 x People’s Choice Award of $1,000 will be voted on by the public and will be awarded to one recipient at the close of the exhibition.

Judges for Incinerator Art Award 2022 to be announced.


  • Entry is open to artists living and working in Australia.
    • Artists must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
    • Indoor, outdoor and performance works are accepted, the gallery can accommodate a variety of sizes and media.
    • Outdoor works must be able to withstand all climatic conditions.
    • Performance works must be able to be judged based on documentation, video footage or photographs. All performances in the gallery and judging will be negotiated with Incinerator staff. Performance-based applications should outline any preferences for required space, duration and scheduling of performances throughout the Incinerator Art Award period.
    • Works must be complete at the time of your submission.
    • Works must be by a living artist, and created within the last five years.
    • Works must not have won other art prizes or awards.
    • Moonee Valley City Council Employees and Volunteers, or their family members, relatives or household members are ineligible to enter.


  • Please note, Incinerator Gallery is hopeful to have the exhibition displayed in the gallery space, however this is dependent on State Government and Department of Human Health and Services directives regarding COVID-19. For this reason, the format of the exhibition of the Incinerator Art Award entries is subject to change (in gallery or online exhibitions are possible) and all successful finalists will be kept updated on how their works will be displayed as information comes to light.
    • The exhibition is curated by Incinerator Gallery.
    • The layout of the exhibition is determined by Incinerator Gallery, if the artist has site specific work they must make it known in their application.
    • The artist is responsible for the packaging and transportation of the work to and from the gallery. If assistance with transportation is required, it should be made known in the application.
    • The work must be delivered and collected from the Gallery within the time period set by the Incinerator Gallery.
    • Incinerator Gallery will install and de-install the work, unless the artist specifies otherwise.
    • Installing and de-installing must be completed within the time period specified by the Incinerator Gallery.
    • The artist is responsible for providing the equipment required to exhibit the work unless otherwise stated. Where possible, video-based works are encouraged to supply their own monitors – please outline in your application.
    • All artworks and equipment must comply with Moonee Valley City Council OH&S standards.
    • All shortlisted works will be insured for loss or damage by Moonee Valley City Council for the period of the exhibition.
    • Moonee Valley City Council will not be responsible for works not collected within the time period specified by the Incinerator Gallery unless by prior arrangement. Works not collected by this time will be disposed of at the discretion of the Gallery.


  • The artist will include in this application a high-resolution image (at least 1600 pixels wide at 300DPI) of the entered work with your entry.
    • It is recognised that authorship and copyright of works entered belongs to the artist.
    • Short-listed artists give permission for Moonee Valley City Council to use images of entered work for marketing purposes associated with Incinerator Art Award and Incinerator Gallery for five years from the date of entry.
    • The artist will be attributed to the work as reasonably possible wherever the image is reproduced.


  • Artworks submitted should demonstrate a belief that cultural and creative expression can be used as a means to affect deep and lasting social change.
  • Applications should demonstrate a relationship to the theme of the award, 'Art for Social Change'.
  • The Shortlisting Selection Panel will consist of two Incinerator Gallery staff and one external panelist from an Australian contemporary arts organisation.
  • The Selection Panel will grade artworks independently, based on the response to the theme ‘art for social change.’ Applications will be critiqued on communication, quality, and content.
  • The application will also be considered for artistic and ethical merit, achievability of installation and additional support material supplied by the artist.
  • Only shortlisted artworks will be eligible for Incinerator Art Award prizes.


  • Judges are selected by Incinerator Gallery based on their industry professionalism and practice.
    • Incinerator Gallery shortlists works based on the SHORT LISTING SELECTION CRITERIA outlined above.
    • Incinerator Gallery reserves the right to accept or reject any works submitted for consideration on any grounds.
    • All decisions are final and individual feedback is not provided on outcomes.


• This year, Incinerator Gallery is waiving the $30 entry fee. Entries to Incinerator Art Award 2022 are free.
• Artists may only submit one entry. This may be a single work with various components or a series of objects/images exhibited under one title.
• Submissions will only be accepted via the online form before midnight 31 May 2022.
• All information upon submission of the application must be true; incorrect information may deem short-listed works ineligible.

Q. May I enter a collaborative artwork or project?

A. Yes, you may enter a collaborative artwork - including works by a group, duo, or an artist collective. The work must be a single artwork or project and be regarded as the intellectual property of the entire group. No additional entries to the IAA will be accepted by solo artists from within the group in the same application year.

Q. If my artwork or project was shortlisted for a previous exhibition award or prize, may I still apply for the IAA?

A. Yes, you may apply. The IAA does not accept artworks or projects that have successfully won previous awards or prizes.